International Children's Digital Library Partners to Significantly Expand European Titles in the World's Largest Online Children's Book Collection

For immediate release


MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, MA - November 17, 2008 - The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) (www.childrenslibrary.org), the world's largest collection of children's literature available on the Internet, today announced a partnership with The Taliaferro Family Fund to launch an ambitious goodwill project aimed at increasing the number of European children's titles in the prestigious ICDL collection. The Elias Project will target three collections in Europe: the Norwegian Children's Book Institute based in Oslo, Norway, the International Youth Library, based in Munich, Germany (the largest children's book collection in the world) and the National Center for Children's Books in Paris, France.

With more than 3 million visitors since its launch at the Library of Congress, the ICDL has worked tirelessly to create an extraordinarily diverse collection of children's literature which it makes available free of charge and advertising to some of the most underserved children in the world. However, while nearly all European countries are currently represented in the ICDL collection, Europe's overall representation is not proportional to either its cultural influence, or population. In an effort to rectify this imbalance, the ICDL reached out to US philanthropist and business leader Mona Eliassen Taliaferro. Ms. Taliaferro, through her family's foundation, has agreed to sponsor this ICDL expansion effort.

"The ICDL leverages technology and common sense as it reaches places with children's books that no other organization can. In politically remote places like Iran, as well as physically remote places like Mongolia, the ICDL is drawing children, parents and teachers together around the universal themes present in children's literature," said Mona Eliassen Taliaferro, Chairwoman of Eliassen Group and co-founder of The Taliaferro Family Fund with David Taliaferro. "This is a significant opportunity to support this exemplary children's library to ensure it properly reflects Europe's rich cultural diversity and enormous impact throughout history."

"We are overwhelmed by Ms. Taliaferro's generosity," said Tim Browne, Executive Director of the International Children's Digital Library. "Her gift honors her Norwegian heritage and underscores her commitment to children's literature and learning the world over. I truly hope it will encourage others to step forward and help us reach more kids with more books."

About ICDL

Founded in 2002, the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) has the world's largest collection of children's literature available freely on the Internet. Funded initially by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and Microsoft Research, ICDL debuted at an international celebration at the Library of Congress. The mission of the non-profit ICDL Foundation is to identify exemplary books that help children to understand the world around them and the global society in which they live and make them freely available on the Internet. The materials in its collection, all presented in at least the original languages in which they were published, reflect similarities and differences in cultures, societies, interests, and lifestyles of peoples around the world. For more information, please visit ICDL on the Web at www.childrenslibrary.org.

Eliassen Group

Eliassen Group, headquartered in Wakefield, MA, is composed of two divisions: Technology Staffing and eClinicalSolutions. The Technology Staffing Division provides services to clients nationwide in industries including healthcare/pharmaceutical, financial services, government, education, life sciences, manufacturing and software development. The eClinical Solutions Division is a provider of electronic data management solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. eClinical Solutions offers deep clinical data expertise to its clients through strategic consulting services, training, documentation and implementation of clinical software systems. For more information, go to www.eliassen.com or call 800-428-9073.

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NOTE TO EDITORS:  Experts from the International Children's Digital Library Foundation are available for interviews and/or commentary on a wide range of related topics including: the role of digital books in elementary education; using the Internet to fight global illiteracy; the digitization of books; and the role of the Internet in supplementing the world's libraries.